Levett Essex Leopards have continued to build for the 2017/18 season with the announcement that Roger Malpass will return as assistant coach.
It will be Malpass’ sixth season with the Big Cats having joined as assistant to Robert Youngblood and continued to work with Steve Ogunjimi and, for the final four games of this season, Thomas Baker.
Baker is delighted to have Malpass returning to assist him in his first full season as the Big Cats’ playcaller: “Roger’s our glue, and I’m really pleased that he will continue to be part of the club” he said.
“He’s our glue, he’s knows the player and the league, so it’s a real boost that he’s returning.”
Malpass is excited about continuing with the Big Cats: “I’m delighted to return to the Leopards for the 17 – 18 season. Last season was a very difficult one – I don’t think in my 12 years coaching BBL and NBL 1 I’ve seen a season so decimated by injuries to key players. It disrupted our offensive options and meant players picking up unfamiliar roles. Unfortunately Steve [Ogunjimi] paid the price and left. Working with Steve was a pleasure he is very knowledgeable and tried his best to overcome a bad situation. That said – we did underperform and have paid the price.
“Having been given the option to return, it was an easy decision to make. I feel very much at home within this organisation and have made some life long friends – I feel I have unfinished business and the aim is to get us back into D1 as soon as possible.
“The opportunity to work with Tom again after the last few games is an exciting one. We worked together well in the last four games and were desperately unlucky not to pick up the wins we needed.
“Thanks to all our supporters and the management team at Leopards – I hope to hear your continued support in the coming season.
“Here’s to a successful campaign and a swift return to D1 basketball.”
Leopards’ general manager Dave Ryan is also pleased with Malpass’ return to the Big Cats: “It wouldn’t seem right without Roger, he’s become part of the club over the last five years and I’m sure he can help us get straight back to Division One.”
Malpass will coach the Big Cats when Baker brings his Oaklands Wolves team to the Brentwood Centre for the Levett Challenge Cup.
There may be a couple of guest appearances from a couple of Leopards’ legends, and the pre-game coaching clinic is selling out fast – so book your tickets today!